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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X

Abstract

SILVA, D.S.F.  and  BOISVERT, J. B.. Mineral resource classification: a comparison of new and existing techniques. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2014, vol.114, n.3, pp.265-273. ISSN 2411-9717.

A survey of 120 recent NI 43-101 technical reports was conducted to evaluate the current state of practice regarding resource classification techniques. The most common classification techniques are based on search neighbourhoods (50% of recent reports), drill-hole spacing (30% of recent reports), and/or kriging variance (6% of recent reports). Two new techniques are proposed. The first is based on kriging variance and involves removing one or more drill-holes with the highest weights while performing kriging and using the resultant kriging variance for classification. This technique has the advantages of variance-based techniques and reduces artifacts. The second technique is based on conditional simulation and uses a moving window approach for classification at the desired selective mining unit resolution based on larger production volume criteria. This technique has the advantage of accounting for heteroscedas-ticity, which is a common characteristic in mineral deposits, and also reduces artifacts since a production volume scale is considered for the actual classification. The drill-hole spacing, search neighborhood, kriging variance, and simulation-based techniques are described and compared for 2D and 3D examples with regular and irregular drilling patterns to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Keywords : mineral resource; resource classification; NI 43-101; national instrument; technical reports; kriging variance; simulation; moving window; cross validation; variance.

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